The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Botswana in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural development has launched the 50 minutes campaign ÔÇô which calls out to all to dedicate 50 minutes of their time to engage in acts of kindness that directly benefit children other than your own.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Although these words were spoken decades ago, they still carry much weight and relevance today. The campaign was officially launched this week on the 21st of June and it is hoped it will stretch beyond the celebration of Botswana’s Jubilee year.
Ms Juilianna Lindsey who was recently appointed UNICEF Country Rep said, “In my mind, the 50 Minutes for Children Campaign is about dignity and development.” The emphasis on ‘dignity’ is meant to be a clarion call for the society to build strong communities without being too dependent on government. ‘Development’ mainly has to do with building structures that ensure a safe and supportive environment for the children of Botswana.
Lindsey further reiterated that the campaign’s main emphasis is to “inspire, mobilise and share”.
A child as per the Children’s Act is defined as anyone who is 18 years old and below. Children constitute almost half of Botswana’s population at 44 percent. Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Botlogile Tshireletso says “the government is committed to protecting children rights and ensuring their welfare in accordance to the Children’s act of 2009.” She urged both civil society and the private sector to play a role in this this initiative.
“We can all make a difference by contributing 50 minutes out of our hectic schedules towards the good will of children in Botswana in recognition of the 50 years that Botswana has been independent”.
Prestigious companies such as Debswana, Alpha Direct Insurance co, Mascom were also in attendance at the launch and have pledged money towards this cause. Debswana and Alpha Insurance pledged P50 000 and Alpha further pledged 50 hours of community service towards children. On the other hand, Mascom pledged P50,000 worth of airtime towards UNICEF and has promised to spend their annual “CEO Christmas Party” with children which will be worth P50,000.